Reconceptualizing the Lived Experience of Games: A Phenomenological Analysis of the Single-Player Experience

Thumbnail Image
Kempton, Allen
video games , immersion , virtual world , phenomenology
This thesis examines the relationship between video games and players regarding lived experience. It revisits the classical debate of the idea of immersion and similar concepts in video games, challenging the concept of immersion by taking a phenomenological stance that sees a direct connection between the player and the game as opposed to their ontological separation. Using a blended phenomenological approach that draws from Alfred Schutz, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Pierre Bourdieu, and following the phenomenological method as outlined by Schutz (1932), the paper looks at four games from the Animal Crossing (2004, 2013) and Fallout (2008, 2010) series. The analysis examines Being and consciousness, meaning and meaning structures, projects of action, and the structuration of the social worlds of the game. The analysis will demonstrate that the ways in which people approach their everyday social world is very similar to the way that they approach the social world presented by the game, revealing a connection between worlds of experience through lived experience.
External DOI